13 Responses to “Interview with Ramana, a Family Caregiver in India”

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  1. Caregiver burnout is a major issue for those with this awesome responsibility. Don’t overlook the role of humor to make things more bearable. Things that made me angry and frustrated when my mother
    (who had dementia)was alive, in retrospect are filled with funny happenings. This is true too for the many caregivers who read my blog and contact me about my book which emphasizes humor as a healing balm. Caregivers need all the emotional support they can get. Dementia is a disease that knows no boundaries. It is blind to the categories in which we usually place our fellow human beings. It can
    occur at the age of 55 or 85. It can happen to Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, males and females, rich
    and poor. It will not spare ex-presidents or ex-prime ministers. It did not spare my mother. Tears are shed by husbands and wives, sons
    and daughters, brothers and sisters—in fact anyone responsible for the care of a loved one with dementia.

    Bob Tell, Author
    Dementia Diary, A Caregiver’s Journal
    http://www.dementia-diary.com
    http://caregiverchronicle.blogspot.com/

  2. Hi Linda and Ramana —
    It’s good to hear the stories of other caregivers. I agree the dialing down of other activities in order to be around for Golden Oldies is quite a change for many people.

  3. Hi Linda and Ramana. It is nice to see and hear of elders being taken good care of. Society moves at such a fast pace these days, elders can easily be forgotten about and left behind. Thank you for being the example.

  4. Bob, I could not agree more. Luckily, my family is blessed with a sense of humor without any exceptions. This has been a great boon to keep our sanity in the most difficult of times. There are others in my family who too are or have been care givers and I can vouch for the fact that they survived to a large extent due to their sense of humor.

    Lori and Davina, thank you. Linda deserves all the credit for persuading me to share my story.

  5. Hi Bob,

    Welcome to TLeC! I hope you catch my weekly “Funny Fridays” which I included from the start of this site to provide “comic relief” for caregivers. And yes, we all need to laugh heartily every day. I will be over to check out your blog shortly. Thanks for telling us about it.

    Hi SpaceAgeSage Lori,

    Sometimes curtailing our own hobbies and activities for caregiving duties feels like a difficult sacrifice, but in the long run I’ve found we get much more from doing so than we ever imagined. It is the precious “bonus time” we get with our Golden Oldies.

    Hi Davina,

    Thank you for your kind words. If only everyone could be as aware and sensitive as you are to our world’s elders.

    Hi rummuser,

    Thanks for replying to these comments and agreeing to tell me (us) your unique story. My questions are merely the canvas, and your words are the paints creating the beautiful picture on it.

  6. Linda

    There is a lady in Pune who has written a Caregivers handbook for Indian homes. You can have a look at it. Its Your Life and Caregivers Handbook
    http://www.stormpages.com/sbhagwat or http://sbhagwat.tripod.com/

    Both the books are also reproduced in their entirety at http://healthlibrary.com/reading/general.html
    “The Caregiver’s Manual” is also put up at p://www.support4change.com/stages/care/caregiving/caregivers-manual.html

    I would like to share some of my friend’s thoughts. In their late sixties and seventies, when they seem to feel the need for ‘Caring’ they have to look after aging parent(s). This is a situation that is pretty difficult to cope with.

    There is stigma in Indian middle class society about Senior Citizens moving to Old Age Homes. The common perception is that the older generation has been abandoned by their offspring. I visit some old age homes once in a way and try to interact with them–they are mostly stoic and defend their offspring for leaving them in such institutions.

    However with many children living far away–abroad or within the country–the need for safe and hassle free accomodation for seniors is mushrooming.

    I write regularly for a magazine called Harmony that targets Silvers above 55. We tend to showcase people who have achieved a great deal even as Senior Citizens. You may want to take a look at their website as well. The only thing is that this magazine does not address negative aspects of aging–they only show the better side of aging.
    http://www.harmonyindia.org/hportal/home.jsp

    Oh by the way would I be a caregiver for my husband who is 70, active like a steam engine, with a terrible memory for everyday stuff like keys, passbooks, chequebooks, papers etc. but sharp about politics, economics etc, a diabetic and a Consultant who is in great demand at Professional Conferences etc. No way I am sure! Was just asking!!

    Regards
    Padmini

  7. It was very interesting reading about someone who is involved in caregiving in another country. I am a professional involved in Social care issues and it is interesting to hear peoples first hand experience of being involved in providing care and the support ( or lack of it) that they recieve.

  8. Dear Padmini Natarajan,

    Welcome to TLeC! Thank you for the many resources to check into. I really appreciate your pointing me to them. I find it sad that there is a stigma attached to seniors who don’t live with their children there. What works for one family, may not be the proper solution for another.

    It sounds like Harmony Magazine writes stories about what I call “Golden Oldies” here. I will definitely visit their site. Thank you.

    And yes, I think it’s interesting how husbands can’t mind the “little things” but when it comes to work everything is in its place. No cultural barrier here. I think of my husband as another son at times. LOL

    Dear Social Care Issues,

    Welcome to TLeC! I’m glad you found the interview interesting. I think it’s important for caregivers’ stories to be heard, since many of us will be caregivers at some point in our lives as people all live longer lives.

  9. Dear Linda and Ramana,
    This is the most interesting interview about a family caregiver that I ever read in a blog post. Hopefully will inspiring everyone for care each others.

  10. Dear tikno,

    Welcome to TLeC! Ramana was a wonderful interview subject. Thank you for your kind words.

  11. Dear Caregiver
    Your touching story will be an inspiration to the modern genset who have beome selfish,carrer-oriented and consider even their parents as a liability to be warehoused.The sacrifices you made and are making is a mission -“Caring+Sharing-Loving”,which I have made the mission of my foundation:Wecare Foundation.Pls visit my website.
    My self being a senior but relatively well off,I am endeavouring to give back to society and “make a a difference”-however samll, in the community.Of course, I gave up a lucrative career with the UN to be with my parents in Chennai and ensured that they had the best possible medical and emotional care the their last years.”Giving” gives more happiness to the giver than the receiver!May God bless you and your wife with peace of mind in the years to come.Nothing equals the sense of togetherness-call it LOVe in our sunset years.

  12. Great tips! Work is something I struggle with all the time. I think I might use some of your

    advice.
    I have recently started to like the work that I am doing. It’s becoming my project, and I

    like devoting myself to it

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